Republicans and Democrats on Capital Hill are fighting to control political messaging as Congress takes its first steps toward dismantling the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), according to the Wall Street Journal. President-elect Trump warned fellow Republicans that they risk a backlash by moving too quickly to repeal the act, adding that they were better off letting Democrats own what he called “the failed ObamaCare disaster.”
In a Twitter message, Trump described Senator Chuck Schumer (D–New York) as the “head clown” leading the Democrats, saying he and the party “know how bad Obamacare is and what a mess they are in.”
“Instead of working to fix it, they do the typical political thing and BLAME,” Trump wrote. “The fact is ObamaCare was a lie from the beginning. ‘Keep you doctor, keep your plan!’ It is time for Republicans & Democrats to get together and come up with a healthcare plan that really works—much less expensive & FAR BETTER!”
For his part, Schumer warned that rolling back the PPACA would “make America sick again.”
President Obama has advised House Democrats not to help Republicans repeal the act or to provide any political support for a GOP plan that would increase the number of uninsured Americans, according to the Journal report.
The PPACA was passed in 2010 with no support from Republicans.
Handouts distributed by a team representing Vice President-elect Mike Pence emphasized that Democrats should shoulder political responsibility for any disruptive changes that come from repeal of the PPACA. To ensure that Republicans don’t get blamed for any fallout, Pence warned that they can’t allow the changes to “sow chaos” in the insurance marketplace.
The budget bill that is a vehicle for dismantling the PPACA has cleared its first procedural hurdle in the Senate. But one GOP senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, voted with the Democrats. The GOP’s repeal movement is endangered if more Republicans defect, and other Senate Republicans have voiced concerns over repealing the act before the GOP has settled on a plan to replace it, according to the Journal.
Source: Wall Street Journal; January 4, 2017